News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 28, 2013

RONN MOTT: A look at media

Ronn Mott
Special to the Tribune-Star

---- — Don’t tell the bosses, but I’m about to pay Midwest Communications’ station WIBQ a nice compliment. It is very good that this high-powered, 50,000-watt radio station has been broadcasting Indiana State basketball. It may not be the best play-by-play we have heard here in Terre Haute. After all, Don Fischer started here, so did Joe McConnell, but it’s nice to have the radio carry ISU sports. It’s kind of a counter balance to the heavy-handed blowhards of right-wing politics. I mean it is, after all, the radio home to Rush Limbaugh.  

I gave you good news about WAXI and all the things they are re-doing so well … now, a little bad news. The Cubs’ organization is charging radio stations an exorbitant amount for the privilege of broadcasting Cubs’ baseball live and lively.

Of course, the Cubs have not had anything to cheer about since 1945, the last World Series they were in, and 1908, I believe, was the last time they won it and there was no radio then. Station owner Dave Crooks told me he is trying to negotiate with the Cubs but they are standing firm on the high price they expect radio stations to pay. And with buying this station and re-doing the studios and equipment, it puts a heavy burden on the pocketbook.

Since WAXI is licensed to a small marketplace, there is a limitation on the kind of money they can get for sponsors of any baseball, be it Cubs or otherwise. Crooks tells us they will continue to do high school sports for their area and Indiana University basketball and football.  

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We must be growing a new crop of some of the cutest kids we have ever seen on the television screen. Where do we get these kids? Cute as a bug’s ear, bright, sharp as a tack, and it makes you want to see more of them rather than less. Most of these kids are making their mark doing commercials, which says a lot for the creative people in the ad agencies and even more for the children on camera.

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I have no idea, other than her training at Ball State, where Lindsey Monroe got her fashion sense for her early morning television weather effort. Her wardrobe obviously looks good on her, but it is also very professional. Kudos to Lindsey.

As long as I’m throwing bouquets to the TV people, how about a salute to Patrece Dayton of News 10, who for years has been the best anchor person in our market. She is able to maintain a level of personality and coolness when things are not easy on set. She is the best in town.

I think it’s a dead-heat tie for weather people between David Wire of News 10 and Jesse Walker of NewChannel 2. Their intensity, good humor, and believability are just super.  

I spent my first time in front of a camera in 1959 in Prince George, British Columbia. Since that time, here and there of course with radio, I have been an admirer of those who do it especially well. I’m sure others are worthy of mention here, but the ones I have mentioned are top drawer.

One other word … you have to put Kevin Orpurt in a special category. His reporting on things others don’t do is incisive, and it’s obvious no one loves his job more than Kevin. I’m sure you’ll be watching and so will I. 

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.